More than 250 of New York’s leading real estate professionals came together for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) New York Real Estate Division Gala, to celebrate a yearlong campaign to raise more than $600,000 to support wellbeing services for Israeli soldiers.

The gala honored Shimon Shkury, founder and president of Ariel Property Advisors, for his commitment to Israel’s soldiers and for his leadership in the New York real estate community. Born in Israel, Shkury served as a lieutenant in the IDF and came to the United States in 1999.

“The IDF’s courageous, selfless dedication to the security of Israel is inspiring,” said Shkury. “My family and I are honored to provide them with positive, meaningful support.”

The FIDF New York Real Estate Division was created in 2006 by a group of successful business and philanthropic leaders who were passionate about uniting members of the real estate community to support the men and women who help protect and defend the Jewish State. Since then, this division has helped support several projects, including the construction of a wellbeing center at the IDF Revaya Base for Battalion 71 of the 188th Brigade, and the support of other wellbeing programs for soldiers. The Real Estate Division plays a central role in the activities of the FIDF Tri-State Region.

"The IDF is the melting pot of Israeli society. It defines who we are and protects not only Israel, but also the entire Jewish people around the world,” said Ofer Yardeni, chairman of the FIDF New York Real Estate Division and chairman and CEO of Stonehenge Partners. “As they protect us, it is our moral obligation to support them.”

Also attending the gala were IDF soldiers and veterans, including combat veteran and FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship recipient Staff Sgt. (Res.) Dvir; Sgt. 1st Class Maor; former Lone Soldier Sgt. (Ret.) Justin; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; and FIDF Tri-State Real Estate Division Director Olivia Lichaa.